Never Groundhog Day

Posted on February 3rd, 2017 by

Museum Matters: February 2017

For many of us today is indelibly marked by the curmudgeonly newscaster portrayed in the movie by Bill Murray.  The protagonist is condemned to relive the same day – a truly awful day – over and over again.

I am happy to report that at JMM there is no Groundhog Day.  Even on a grey morning in February there is the bright promise of new exhibits ahead. This week we’ll be working behind the scenes on five different exhibit projects!  First on our list is Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity, opening on March 5 (public opening begins at noon). Look for a complete list of related programs in our March 2 Museum Matters newsletter.

But even as we prepared to install Remembering Auschwitz we are also measuring the walls for our next project, Just Married! Wedding Stories from Jewish Maryland, scheduled to open June 18.  We have something very special planned for our exhibit opening (details next month) but now is the time to renew your membership to make sure you can join us.

We are also making final arrangements to host Discovery and Recovery: The Iraqi Jewish Archives Project – our opening events for this exhibit are on October 15.  But our team isn’t just working on 2017.  In this week’s Baltimore Jewish Times look for an article about the Scrap Yard national traveling exhibit we’re creating for next fall.  Last but not least, we just completed the conceptual phase for our new core exhibit Belonging(s): What Connects Us.

So no matter what you hear today from Punxsutawny Phil, our winter break will be short – and we won’t be sleeping through it!

~Marvin

Upcoming programs
All programs take place at the Jewish Museum of Maryland unless otherwise noted. Please contact Trillion Attwood at tattwood@jewishmuseummd.org / 443-8735177with any questions or for more information.


Movie Screening – Bal Ej: The Hidden Jews of Ethiopia
Sunday, February 12th at 1pm
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Tickets Now!

Join us for the Maryland premiere of Bal Ej: The Hidden Jews of Ethiopia. Following a one-hundred-year-old account of the prominent Jewish Polish scholar Jacque Faitlovich, the film-maker travels to discover and explore a sect of secret Jews in Ethiopia. Named Bal Ej, “craftsmen”, for their artisan skills, they have been persecuted by their Orthodox Christian neighbors who slandered them as “evil-eyed” and “hyena-people.” They have been deprived of basic rights, including ownership of land.

Following the screening we will be talking with the director Irene Orleansky live from Israel via Face Time.


The Balkan Sephardim: Their Stories, Our Heritage
Sunday, February 19th at 6:30pm
Speakers: Edward Serotta and Dr. Joseph Benatov
FREE – Reserve Your Seats Here

In 1492, when the Jews of Spain—the Sephardim–were expelled from their home of a thousand years, they sought refuge in many lands. In what became modern-day Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia and Bosnia, Jews lived alongside their Muslim and Christian neighbors. For 400 years, the lived peacefully suffering neither ghettos nor pogroms. But as the Ottomans withdrew and the ugly 20th century took shape, they were marked for destruction.

Join us for a screening of multimedia films and conversation with Dr Joseph Benatov of the University of Pennsylvania, and Edward Serotta, director of Centropa. We will discuss the tragedy and the resilience of the Balkan Sephardim, their role in the broader story of Sarajevo, and how Centropa uses the story in schools throughout the world.
More info here.


Got Shabbat in Federal Hill!

Friday, February 24, 5:45pm
Location: 1530 Battery Avenue Baltimore, 21230
REGISTER NOW

Join Beth El Federal Hill and B’nai Israel with the Jewish Museum of Maryland and DBJCC for a fun-filled family Shabbat. Questions? Contact Lara Nicolson | 410.559.3532 | lnicolson@jcc.org

MARCH

Auschwitz through the Lens of the SS
Wednesday, March 1st at 7:00pm
Speaker: Rebecca Erbelding, Museum Archivist
Location: Chizuk Amuno Congregation
FREE – Registration is Required

Shortly after World War II, an American intelligence officer living in Germany made a surprising discovery—a personal album of photographs chronicling SS officers’ activities at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Learn how this unique collection made its way to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the detective work undertaken to identify those pictured. More info here.


Artist Insights: Lori Shocket and Keron Psillas
Sunday, March 5th at 2:00 pm
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Your Tickets Now
Museum Members – Reserve Your Seats Here

We are very pleased to welcome two wonderful artists  whose works are featured in Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity: Lori Shocket (The Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project) and Keron Psillas (Loss and Beauty: Photographs by Keron Psillas) to discuss their art, their inspiration and what they have learnt through their work exploring the Holocaust. More info here.


Stories of Survival: Bluma Shapiro
Featuring a live Crankie performance by Maura Roth-Gormley
Sunday, March 12, 1:00 pm
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Your Tickets Now
Museum Members – Reserve Your Seats Here

Bluma Shapiro is a Polish Holocaust survivor whose Holocaust experiences included confinement with her family in a ghetto, slave labor and deportation to several concentration and death camps including Auschwitz.  Ms. Shapiro’s testimony will be illuminated by Crankie artist Maura Roth-Gormley. More info here.


A Cabaret Evening
Sadie B. Feldman Family Lecture
Presented by The Jüdische Kulturbund Project
Wednesday, March 22nd at 7:00pm
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Your Tickets Now
Museum Members – Reserve Your Seats Here

An evening of learning and music with the team behind The Jüdische Kulturbund Project.  Gail Prensky, executive producer, will enlighten us about the history of the Nazi-era group. Vocalist Sarah Baumgarten and pianist Patrick O’Donnell will present a number of pieces previously performed by the Jüdische Kulturbund. More info here.


The Auschwitz Birkenau Blueprints: Facts and FAQs
Speaker: Marlene Yahalom
Sunday , March 26th at 1:00 pm
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Your Tickets Now
Museum Members – Reserve Your Seats Here

Marlene Yahalom Director of Education of the American Society of Yad Vashem will speak about the Auschwitz Birkenau blueprints which are on display in “The Architecture of Murder” section of Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity. More info here.


Movie Screening: Bogdan’s Journey  
Wednesday, March 29th at 7:30 pm
Special Guest: Anna Sommer Schneider, Georgetown University
Location: The Gordon Center
Ticket Information Here

Maryland premiere of Bogdan’s Journey: Bogdan Bialek, a Catholic Pole, launches a crusade to persuade the people of Kielce, Poland, to confront the truth about the darkest moment in their past: Kielce was the site of Europe’s last Jewish pogrom. More info here.

Esther’s Place: the Shop at the Jewish Museum of Maryland

Esther’s Place is heading to New York City this month for the annual NY NOW show – the premier market for all that’s new and on trend in specialty retail.  We expect to bring back lots of unique merchandise for the shop, so to make room on the shelves, we’re offering a special discount of 10% off the medically-themed Beyond Chicken Soup exhibit merchandise.

The first night of Passover is Monday, April 10, so you have just enough time to stop by and pick up a new Seder plate (or two!).  We’re also adding more pieces to our collection to coincide with our upcoming exhibit Remembering Auschwitz (opening March 5). You can look forward to seeing products that help us remember, including memorial candles, beautifully crafted picture frames and new book additions to our Holocaust-related reading section.

Also of Interest

The JMM is pleased to share our campus with B’nai Israel Congregation. For additional information about B’nai Israel events and services for Shabbat, please visit bnaiisraelcongregation.org.  For more of this month’s events from BIYA, please visit biyabaltimore.org or check out BIYA on Facebook.

Ongoing at the JMM

Exhibits

Exhibits currently on display include Voices of Lombard Street: A Century of Change in East Baltimore, and The Synagogue Speaks!

Hours and Tour Times

Combination tours of the 1845 Lloyd Street Synagogue and the 1876 Synagogue Building now home to B’nai Israel are offered: Sunday through Thursday at 11:00am, 1:00pm and 2:00pm.

Click Here for complete hours and tour times

Please note that the JMM is open on Sunday, December 25 from 10am-5pm and on Sunday, January 1, from 10am-5pm.

Membership

Make it official! Become a Member of the JMM.
Learn More about membership.
Already ready? Join Here.

Get Involved

The JMM is always looking for volunteers! Click Here to learn more.
Click Here for complete hours and tour times

 

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




A Fond Farewell for Our Favorite Cure for the Winter Blues

Posted on January 6th, 2017 by

Museum Matters: January 2017

All good things must come to an end and this month we’ll say goodbye to Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and American Medicine so don’t miss your last chance to experience this fantastic exhibit between now and Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 16th). The exhibit heads into storage for a few months and then makes its way to the Maltz Museum in Cleveland in the fall.

However, we have no time for long good-byes.  Check out our upcoming programs below that span the time between exhibits and be sure to save the date for the opening of our next project, Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity on March 5th.”

Upcoming programs
All programs take place at the Jewish Museum of Maryland unless otherwise noted. Please contact Trillion Attwood at tattwood@jewishmuseummd.org / 443-8735177with any questions or for more information.

baby in river

First Years, First Rites

First Years, First Rites: Exploring Religious Traditions in the First Years of Life
Sunday, January 15th at 1:00pm
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Tickets Now!

Join us for an inter-faith panel exploring the first year of life. There are many special traditions connected with this important time in our lives. Even though we don’t remember them, they are an essential rite of passage. Panelists will examine these essential rites of passage, comparing them across religions and faith, and discussing their historic roots.

film poster

film poster

Movie Screening – Bal Ej: The Hidden Jews of Ethiopia 
Sunday, February 12th at 1pm 
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Tickets Now!

Join us for the Maryland premiere of Bal Ej: The Hidden Jews of Ethiopia. Following a one-hundred-year-old account of the prominent Jewish Polish scholar Jacque Faitlovich, the film-maker travels to discover and explore a sect of secret Jews in Ethiopia. Named Bal Ej, “craftsmen”, for their artisan skills, they have been persecuted by their Orthodox Christian neighbors who slandered them as “evil-eyed” and “hyena-people.” They have been deprived of basic rights, including ownership of land.

Following the screening we will be talking with the director Irene Orleansky live from Israel via Face Time. 

RA-logo-BLUE
Artist Insights: Lori Shocket and Keron Psillas
Sunday, March 5th at 2:00 pm 
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Tickets Now!

We are very pleased to welcome two wonderful artists whose works are featured in Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity. Lori Shocket (Memory Reconstruction: A Sacred Culture Rebuilt) and Keron Psillas (Loss and Beauty: Photographs by Keron Psillas) will join us to discuss their art, their inspiration and what they have learnt through their work exploring the Holocaust.

Esther’s Place: the Shop at the Jewish Museum of Maryland

Esther's Place

Esther’s Place

At Esther’s Place, we are busy preparing for holidays in 2017 with fun and beautiful tree-themed merchandise for Tu B’shvat and looking ahead to Passover. In the meantime, Beyond Chicken Soup is closing on January 16. Until that time, enjoy 10% off of medically-themed merchandise.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




A Year in Review

Posted on December 23rd, 2016 by

This is the time of year for reflection, for compiling top ten best and worst lists, for noting what we did (and did not accomplish) and how we can do better in the year ahead. In keeping with the spirit of the season, what follows is a list of some of my favorite JMM moments from 2016.

1. Paul Simon: Words and Music exhibit brings in record crowds – By the time we closed the exhibit, on loan from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, more than 5,000 visitors came through our doors over the course of three months. But even more gratifying than the numbers was how the exhibit enabled us to raise our institutional profile and attract new visitors, thanks, in part, to widespread media coverage.

The exhibit provided us with an opportunity to hold several musical performances in the Lloyd Street Synagogue, such as our concluding program by Baltimorean Sonia Rutstein, which proved popular.

The exhibit provided us with an opportunity to hold several musical performances in the Lloyd Street Synagogue, such as our concluding program by Baltimorean Sonia Rutstein, which proved popular.

2. Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America opens – After more than three years of development, we opened a major, original exhibition that explores the influence of science and culture on one another and how medicine has impacted Jewish identity. The exhibit opened to many accolades from both press and the public and we continue to receive wonderful feedback from visitors.

Opening Beyond Chicken Soup

Opening Beyond Chicken Soup

The exhibit marked another important milestone as we successfully raised more funds than ever before for an exhibit and many of our sponsors came from within the medical community. And if you haven’t had a chance to see it, don’t worry, the exhibit remains on view through January 16. (But don’t put this off too long!)

3. Our newest living history character, Henrietta Szold, debuted in September– With a fabulous performance by actor Natalie Smith, the newest member of our Immigrant’s Trunk living history roster, focuses on Szold’s contributions to Zionism and to improving access to quality healthcare in Palestine.

Henrietta in action

Henrietta in action

To date, the character has performed at the JMM, at schools and synagogues.

4. Our annual Summer Teachers Institute successfully engaged more than 40 educators from public, private and parochial schools from across the state – This three-day workshop featured scholars, artists, survivors and a visit to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Teachers enjoyed participating in an interactive session exploring artistic responses to oppression facilitated by Gail Prensky and Sarah Baumgarten.

Teachers enjoyed participating in an interactive session exploring artistic responses to oppression facilitated by Gail Prensky and Sarah Baumgarten.

Comments such as: “How do I adequately put into words all that was imparted during this experience? I was completely blown away with the amount of information conveyed throughout the various presentations and, on a logistical level, I was impressed by the professionalism and organization of the entire workshop. The materials and resources were such a valuable blessing and I walked away having learned so much and excited to be able to take it back into the classroom and school environment.“ reflect the program’s success.

5. JMM launches a new statewide collecting initiative in conjunction with an upcoming exhibition, Just Married! Wedding Stories of Jewish Maryland – In keeping with our mission to collect, preserve and interpret Maryland Jewish history, and to fill in gaps in our collection, JMM staff is looking to collect new material that reflect the diversity of Jewish Marylanders wedding traditions.

You can read more about this important project in last week’s JMM Insights.

You can read more about this important project in last week’s JMM Insights.

6. In preparation for our upcoming exhibit, Remembering Auschwitz, JMM staff, in partnership with artist Lori Schocket and The Human Element Project, held a series of workshops for Holocaust survivors and their families. The workshops resulted in the creation of collages, created on canvases that incorporated photocopies of participants’ photographs and documents that will be transformed into plaques. The plaques will be on display as part of our spring exhibit (March 5-May 29, 2017)

The Rozga siblings make collages honoring their parents.

The Rozga siblings make collages honoring their parents.

7. Our educational programs make connections between past and present –

One example can be seen in a visit this fall by a group of students that included Syrian refugees who learned about immigration history – as they made connections with their own personal experiences – through a tour of Voices of Lombard Street.

One example can be seen in a visit this fall by a group of students that included Syrian refugees who learned about immigration history – as they made connections with their own personal experiences – through a tour of Voices of Lombard Street.

In addition this year’s Lessons of the Shoah, a high school interfaith program co-sponsored by the Baltimore Jewish Council that took place at John Carroll High school, focused on the plight of refugees, past and present.

8. We continued to build new partnerships and expand existing ones – JMM has long benefitted from our continued partnerships with such organizations as the Baltimore Jewish Council, The Maryland State Department of Education and Baltimore City Schools. This year we were proud to co-sponsor programs with the Gordon Center; the Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies; Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University and many others. These collaborations give us the opportunity to reach new and diverse audiences and also allow us to provide access to speakers and programs we would not be able to afford on our own.

An April program sponsored by the 21st Century Cities Initiative of Johns Hopkins University on the topic of redlining brought many people to the JMM who had never before visited for a discussion on a topic that still has contemporary relevance.

An April program sponsored by the 21st Century Cities Initiative of Johns Hopkins University on the topic of redlining brought many people to the JMM who had never before visited for a discussion on a topic that still has contemporary relevance.

One particularly successful joint program was developed in partnership with the Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, an October event that was billed as a Jewish Baltimore Family Reunion. Alfred Moses delivered a talk in the Lloyd Street Synagogue based on his book about his family’s business.

One particularly successful joint program was developed in partnership with the Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, an October event that was billed as a Jewish Baltimore Family Reunion. Alfred Moses delivered a talk in the Lloyd Street Synagogue based on his book about his family’s business.

9. After more than 160 years in existence, the Lloyd Street Synagogue receives new attention – The JMM’s star attraction, the Lloyd Street Synagogue, was the subject of new research, art, conversations and some well deserved maintenance. In conjunction with Paul Simon: Words and Music we developed a themed building tour that examined the role that music has played in the life of the different congregation that have called LSS home.

We also invited artists for a day of plein air painting and were delighted by the different artistic interpretations of our beloved synagogue.

We also invited artists for a day of plein air painting and were delighted by the different artistic interpretations of our beloved synagogue.

Our efforts to breathe new life into the building resulted in a series of two conversations held with community stakeholders and representatives of other local history organizations. We asked participants to provide feedback about how we can better make use of the synagogue as a venue to attract new audiences (as well as encouraging repeat visitation). We were thrilled by the responses we received and look forward to implementing some of the ideas that were generated. Noting that the inside of the synagogue had gotten a little worn over the years, we also decided to invest in a major fall cleaning project that resulted in a sparkling interior.

10. JMM receives an award from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for an upcoming exhibit on the scrap industry – How gratifying it was to receive notification in September that the JMM, once again, was selected to receive a prestigious (and competitive) grant award from this federal agency. We received the notice just weeks after we launched the second phase of planning for our upcoming exhibition Scrap Yard: Innovators of Recycling with a site visit from members of our exhibit team including curator, Jill Vexler, and the folks from our design firm, Alchemy Studios.

As part of the team meeting in September, we visited a nearby scrap yard, Baltimore Scrap Corp.

As part of the team meeting in September, we visited a nearby scrap yard, Baltimore Scrap Corp.

The exhibit opens in Fall 2018.

As with all Top Ten lists, there are so many more highlights from the past year that I could have included. 2016 was, indeed, a banner year for the JMM. We look forward to seeing you in the year ahead and wish you and your family happy holidays and a wonderful new year!

deborahA blog post by Deputy Director Deborah Cardin. To read more posts from Deborah click HERE.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




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